Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Green-eyed demon... 

Last Friday, during an impromptu dinner, I was talking with BossGuy about this and that. All sorts of subjects. And one of the subjects we talked about made me realize something.

I don't understand jealousy.

That's not entirely true. I do understand the little twinges one sometimes gets, when the person one holds in affectionate regard is speaking with someone else who may be considered to be smarter, funnier, more attractive than one's occasionally shaky self-esteem will allow him or her to see oneself as.

(Wait, did that make any sense? Um, maybe not. Translation: in the past I've felt the intermittent jealous twinge when either my SO or the person I've been attracted to has interacted with women that my occasionally shaky self-esteem will tell me are smarter, funnier, prettier or in better shape (my biggest bugaboo) than me. I will probably feel it again. I know this about myself, I understand it and I guard against it so that it doesn't explode into unreasonable jealousy. Mainly because I know that I have nothing to worry about and, if I do, then it's best I not be involved with that person after all. This is, of course, at odds with my inflated ego. The ego that is constantly surprised when it discovers that every man I come across isn't wildly attracted to me. Yeah, I have issues. Who doesn't?)

I also understand reasonable jealousy, where there is an actual history behind wondering if one's mate is chatting up the girl or boy in the corner because the mate is looking for a little extra action or someone new and exciting.

(I can safely say that this, to my knowledge, has never happened to me. Thank heavens. Because if there's one thing I don't need is a reason to mistrust men. I find trusting people ever so much more fun.)

What I don't understand is the unreasonable jealousy that seeps into every pore, every cell of a person's being, to the point where that jealousy makes life unbearable, not only for the suspicious person, but also for his/her friends and family.

In the late 80s I was sitting in restaurant, reading and having a little dinner by myself, when I looked up and saw an old high school friend standing over my table. I smiled a big hi, we exchanged a bit of, "What have you been up to?" and chatted for maybe five minutes, at the most. Finally he said, "I've got to go, my girlfriend is waiting at the register." I looked in the direction he pointed and saw a woman, attractive enough (though, to be honest, not as pretty as I think I am, especially back in the 80s when I had a very nice figure). And the woman's eyes were shooting heat seeking missles at me. It's fortunate that looks do not have the power to actually kill, else I'd be one burnt cookie right now.

It's a good thing she didn't know that her honey was the first guy I ever went on a date with. (The movie? Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. That's such a surprise? Y'all should know what a geek I am by now.)

Once upon a time I had a boss. He was a very cool boss, into the blues and reggae. He was cute (though, at my height, a little short for my tastes), he was sweet, he was funny and he was intelligent. And devoted to his wife and kids. Sure, he liked to look at pretty women, enjoyed his yearly Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue, and, for some incomprehensible reason, thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was hot. (I never said he was perfect. And yes, I gave him shit for that. I felt it was my duty.)

But there was never any doubt, in the minds of the people that knew him, that he loved his wife and children more than anyone in the world. He would never do anything to jeopardize those relationships.

Apparently his wife was not aware of this. Because she was insanely jealous of any woman that she considered pretty enough or shapely enough to be a threat to her place in her husband's life. (I was always a little insulted that, the one time she met me, she was not bothered by my presence. Harumph.)

This suspicion extended to the printed page. The aforementioned Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue. Not allowed. Anything else that could possibly construed as the tiniest bit pornographic? Verboten.

As a result I've been afraid to call his place to leave a message, see how they're doing, what they're up to. Because if she heard my voice asking for her husband, she would probably go batshit. Not just because I have a feminine voice. But because my voice is a bit on the low side, sometimes a little husky. Numerous friends have told me that I have the perfect phone sex voice. How sad is it that I can't even call a friend for fear of repercussions? I don't get that.

My thoughts? Though I may feel that awful jade-eyed monster peep over my shoulder now and then, trying to stir up trouble as it likes to do, I'm not about to act as if the world was ending because my SO, or a guy I might be interested in, was in the midst of interacting with another human being who happened to be of the opposite sex. Because I know it's my own issues I'm dealing with, not the other person's.

As far as porn or erotica go, I can't say it bothers me all that much. You want to look at naked people, go for it. Have fun. As long as it doesn't interfere with the real sex life, knock yourself out. So to speak. Granted, I'd prefer that my guy not be into Hustler or anything super hard core, but that's mainly because I find that sort of thing rather icky. I'm all about an illusion of art and class.

So those people afraid that a picture or an image on a screen can usurp their own importance in their mates lives, or allow the proverbial imp with the emerald orbs to take them over when observing random friendly interactions with people, of which there are many on this earth - those people puzzle my simple little mind.

I sincerely hope that's a puzzle I never unravel.

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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